Nerves and breakages plagued the second episode of the Great British Bake Off as “biscuit week” proved intensely stressful for the contestants.
Alvin found himself running out of time as he struggled to construct his “architecturally impressive biscuit box” for the show-stopper challenge, deciding to focus on making his 36 brandy snaps instead of building the 3D gingerbread container.
Presenting his bake to Bake Off judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the 37-year-old nurse explained: “The component of the box is made out of gingerbread, and, um -” before turning away in tears and whispering, “Sorry”.
The Great British Bake Off’s Alvin (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)
Mary comforted him, saying: “You had such great plans and a huge sadness that you just didn’t have time to put it all together. I can see some absolutely smashing brandy snaps,” while Paul added: “The flavour of those things, the colour, the bake, is excellent. Shame about the box.”
Presenter Mel Giedroyc also caused stress for one contestant when she accidentally broke Nadiya’s biscuit lid. An embarrassed Mel admitted: “I just wrecked it. I literally can’t believe I did that and I’m mortified. How can I make amends?”
“Well if I leave you’re coming with me,” the 30-year-old full-time mother warned her, laughing. When Nadiya presented her creation to the judges, Mel shamefacedly confessed the reason for the botch-job replacement lid and Nadiya was able to escape elimination.
The Great British Bake Off’s Nadiya (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)
Flora, the youngest baker in the competition at 19, attempted to construct an Earl Grey-themed box – but was left with a crack across her slab of shortbread. A sympathetic Mary told her: “What an ambitious box you’ve made. Doing so much, I think maybe you got a bit rushed at the end and a bit panicky, and that’s what happens.”
However, they praised the taste, with Paul adding: “it is a great bake.”
Scottish grandmother Marie became the second to leave the competition, despite winning Star Baker last week, with a series of disappointing bakes – including a mishap with the oven, which left her in last place on the technical challenge.
Marie on the Great British Bake Off 2015 (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)
The 66-year-old found that her oven had not heated up and that her arlettes had “not cooked at all”, becoming emotional as she asked Mel: “What have we got – seconds left, have we?”
Marie was only able to present four of the eight required arlettes, and ultimately was eliminated from the competition.
Meanwhile, Ian impressed with a third place position in the technical challenge as well as his orange, rosemary and almond biscotti and a biscuit box made of what Mary called “beautiful, buttery shortbread”. The 41-year-old travel photographer was awarded the title of Star Baker.
The Great British Bake Off’s Ian (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)
Lithuanian Ugne, whose show-stopper was declared “over-the-top” and “garish” by Mary, also had a surprise from Paul when he tried her Lithuanian biscuits. “I don’t like them,” he told her – but then added: “I love them”, leaving the 32-year-old clapping in delight.
The Great British Bake Off screens on Wednesdays on BBC One.